The Grand Rapids Chamber has entered a partnership with Kent County to deliver short-term, financial support to small businesses with the purpose of cultivating a strong, economic recovery.

This partnership follows a decision by the Kent County Board of Commissioners to disperse $25 million in federal CARES Act dollars to small businesses in the form of grants and technical assistance.

The Kent County Small Business Recovery Program will help businesses that have not been able to access, or have been declined local, state, or federal relief funds gain access to additional support to weather the COVID-19 crisis. The program will focus on businesses that may be dealing with additional barriers including but not limited to language, general business knowledge, and those from underserved communities. Consistent with the limitations of the CARES Act, these businesses also must have been directly impacted and experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19.

In a release, Kent County Board of Commissioners representative Mandy Botler said:

The COVID-19 pandemic has truly been devastating to our community and this recovery program is another tool our small businesses can use to get through the COVID-19 crisis. It was critical for our Board to quickly respond to the needs of the business community because these grants will not only help our small businesses, but our entire economy recover.

Qualifying businesses will receive a short-term economic relief grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the size of the business, operating costs, and additional scoring metrics. In addition to financial support, the Chamber will provide technical assistance including cost-cutting measures, six-month cash-flow projection, analysis with a business consultant, creditor recommendation review, and connections to other critical resources.

On Monday, June 22 the Grand Rapids Chamber opened the first round of applications to those that have not previously received COVID-19 related aid.

The program eligibility requires applicants:

  • to be a private, for-profit business located and registered in Kent County with 0-25 full time equivalent employees
  • to have been directly impacted and experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19
  • have a business start date prior to February 15, 2020.

Business owners interested in applying for the grants can do so via the Grand Rapids Chamber's website.

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